Every year on September 29th, Waldorf schools all over the world celebrate Michaelmas!
St. Michael was an archangel in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his festival is one that can observed by people of all faiths and beliefs.
A Day of Fall Feasting
Not only is September 29 the feast day of St. Michael, but this festival also marks the changing of the seasons as autumn slowly takes over. This is a wonderful time of year to slow down and savor the last warm days (if you live in a seasonal climate like we do here in Maine) and to enjoy all the bounty that fall has to offer.
Many harvest festivals on Michaelmas include apple cider, pumpkin bread, and heaps of other harvest time merriment. And if you're lucky, it may also include the taming of a dragon!
Acts of Courage
Michaelmas is a wonderful time to encourage your children to explore and engage in acts of self-discovery. Both young girls and boys can cultivate their own courage and strength by recreating the taming of the dragon!
In this story, St. George tames the dragon which symbolizes the inner courage it takes to face our human challenges. As winter's cold and darkness begins to take form, we must tap into our own inner light to bring levity to our world.
St. Michael gave courage to St. George to face the dragon. This tale speaks to children in a deeply symbolic way, feeding their innate need for truth and justice.
Ways to Celebrate with Your Family
Here are some fun ideas for observing the festival and the season at home:
Tell stories about St. Michael or St. George. The beautifully illustrated picture book St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges is a great place to start.
Learn Michaelmas songs and verses
with the Autumn volume of Wynstones
seasonal series.Create a Seasonal Nature Table
depicting St. George and the Dragon. You could display autumn leaves and other treasures from the outdoors on a red or orange play silk. Or display the Black Knight with Red Horse
, and Large Angel wooden figures
from Ostheimer of Germany. Read “The Most Beautiful Dragon in the Whole World”
from Reg Down’s charming collection of autumn stories, The Festival of Stones
.Attempt your own acts of bravery with the family.
Take a hike, go on a dragon hunt, create a daring scavenger hunt and more.Bake Dragon Bread.
Find this recipe with accompanying story in the book All Year Round: A Calendar of Celebrations
along with instructions for making your own dragon candle!
Many consider fall to be the most beautiful time of year here in Maine, so we enjoy celebrating the autumn season with these ideas all month long. We hope you will too!